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Funding Your Serve Abroad Trip

We understand that seeing that price on your serve abroad trip can be overwhelming and we are here to provide you with every resource we can to get you abroad. We recognize that God is the ultimate provider who will make a way for you, even when you may not see it. However, we still have a responsibility to be good stewards of the time, resources, and relationships that God has given us in order to fundraise for the things that we are passionate about. Remember during this process that you are not just asking people for money-- you are inviting them to join us in God's work among the nations!


Youth in Mission
Youth in Mission is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization set up to aid teens and young adults to serve on the mission field. Any youth serious and passionate about the work but unable to financially fund their trip is eligible to apply. Their scholarships enable youth to focus on Christ's work of helping others rather than raising all the travel money it takes to get there. 
You can apply for a scholarship at:

The Vessel
The Vessel is an organization that provides scholarships to students following these guidelines: 
  • students venturing on their first, 2nd, or 3rd missions trip or project
  • quality of the application including diligent responses to the questions
  • motivation of the applicant
  • unique economic realities or other fundraising challenges
If you are eligible for this scholarship, contact Due to the high number of applicants last year, The Vessel will only be rewarding scholarships to those who have been approved by the Campus Ministries Department.


Birdies for Children
Donations can also be submitted on and selecting “PBA Student Missions” for an extra 10% added to your donations for a limited time of the year.
If you forward any of your donors to Birdies, please be sure to ask them to indicate your name while donating, as many donations are channeled through Birdies and it is hard to locate the specific donation for each student and PBA sends a number of serve abroad trips each year.
Please note: spring break team members cannot submit money through Birdies after February 1st. There is a delay in receiving the money that is donated through Birdies, so we are keeping a strict deadline to assure all money is received in time to be used for your trip.
Summer teams may donate through Birdies for the duration of the fundraiser, which ends in March.

On Campus Fundraisers
Campus Ministries trips: If you would like to host an on campus fundraiser, you must have it approved by emailing She will add your event to the campus ministries calendar.
All other serve abroad trips: All other serve abroad students who are participating in a trip outside of Campus Ministries must have approval from their trip sponsor in order to host an on-campus fundraiser. 

Please see the following information about planning on campus fundraisers:

  1. Space Requests
    • Go to and sign in. Click on the following to access the space request: Departments > Community Services > or go directly to the link after signing in. Make sure you enter Campus Ministries as the sponsoring organization. You will also need to leave a list of event needs under notes, such as, tables, chairs, stage pieces, etc.
  2. Media Services
    • Media services is not automatically required at each event requested so they should be separately requested. At click on the following: Departments > Media Services > Event Support. Please leave a detailed list of needs so they can properly prepare for your event.
Local Fundraisers
Many businesses love working with PBA students and our global departments for fundraisers. Contact each business by phone or look on their website to find opportunities to do a fundraiser. Don’t forget: not all businesses can advertise with religious organizations so phrase your mission trip as a service project to: teach English, raise awareness about social justice, build homes, etc. Here is a list of businesses that have worked with us in the past.
  • Common Grounds Coffee
  • Your Greek Cousin
  • Chipotle
  • Duffy’s
  • PDQ
  • Krispy Kreme
  • Rita’s Italian Ice
Selling TShirts
T-shirts are a great way to raise support for your team and give your supporters something in return. A great website and organization for this is They will design a shirt for you and help you throughout the whole process!

Crowdfunding is becoming an increasingly popular way to to raise money through the reach of social media. Keep in mind that these sites can take a small percentage of what you raise. Additionally, there are many trips that require extra sensitivity due to the location and work of the ministry. 
Be sure to consult your trip leader before posting information about your trip online. Missions-Give-Now
Contributions can also be submitted online at The donor MUST include your name and trip location in the “Trip Destination” box at the bottom of the page for the donation to be credited to your account.

Support Letters
The biggest source of funding for serve abroad trips will be reaching out to people personally and directly. 
Write a fundraising letter and be sure to include where you're going, the ministry you will be serving with, why you are going, how much it will cost, a tax exemption letter, and instructions on how to donate. 
Parents, grandparents, extended family, pastors/youth leaders, family friends, older siblings, and previous teachers and mentors are great resources who love to 
support God's work in your life. 

Use this example of a support letter to help guide your writing: Fundraising Sample Letter.pdf
Include this tax exemption letter to explain the tax-deductible laws to your supporters: Tax Letter.pdf

Note: It is important to send thank-you letters to your supporters. You should be sending a “thank-you!” immediately after receiving the donation, and another thank you letter after your trip, detailing how their contribution helped your team make an impact. 

Additional Information

Contribution vs. Payment
Contribution: any check, cash or money that is NOT designated for a particular individual. The check must be written out to Palm Beach Atlantic University. If the money is donated to a particular individual, the name and trip must be written on a separate piece of paper (like a sticky note or an envelope).
No individual name can appear on a check given as a contribution. If a name does appear on the check, it is no longer considered a contribution but a payment. Contributions are tax-deductible and non-refundable.
Payment: A payment is any money that is designated for a specific individual. Any money given from a family member with the same last name and/or address (parents, siblings, grandparents, etc.) are considered a payment and are not tax-deductible. A payment can have the name of the individual student written on the check or gift.

Financial FAQs

1. When are the deadlines to have my payments in?
Amounts and dates differ for Christmas, spring break and summer trips. They also differ for each department. The financial timeline for all Campus Ministries Global Projects can be found here. If you are not participating in a Global Project, contact your trip sponsor for specific financial information. 

2. What is the International Travel Fee?
The $75 International Travel Fee is required for every international travel application on The fee is non-refundable and it is not included in the trip cost. 

3. To what address can I send donations?
For Campus Ministries Global Projects, donations can be mailed to:
Student Missions
Palm Beach Atlantic University
PO Box 24708
West Palm Beach FL 33416-9893
If you are not participating in a Global Project, contact your trip sponsor for specific mailing information.
**Remember: Please include team member’s name and the trip name on a separate piece of paper

4. Are donations tax deductible?
Checks made payable to Palm Beach Atlantic University are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law; however, checks made payable to an individual or earmarked for the benefit of a specific individual are not tax deductible. If someone is donating to your specific trip, they must include your name and trip on a separate piece of paper included in the envelope. If your name is written on the check, the donation is no longer tax deductible. 
Please see the tax exemption letter available here.

5. ?What happens if I get way more donations than I needed?
Any overages in a student’s account will benefit that specific serve abroad trip. If a student raises more than their per capita portion of the overall trip cost, funds will be stay in that account and benefit the overall project. Any remaining funds will benefit the General Missions fund for other department serve abroad trips. 

6. What happens if I drop out of the trip?
All fees and contributions are non-refundable. In the event a participant decides to drop from the program, his/her funds will be divided between members of his/her team after the cost of non-refundable travel arrangements and other expenses have been deducted from the total amount the participant has raised.

7. Do I have to pay the trip off completely before I can go? 
Yes. All expenses must be paid for in full before leaving on your serve abroad trip. It is university policy that you be marked as “cleared for departure,” and this cannot happen if the trip is not paid for beforehand. There will be no exceptions.